Pyramid / ERM Multiclock / iconnectivity MIO 10 / DAW


#1

Hi folks,

Can I get some advice from other Pyramid users on integrating iconnectivity MIO, my DAW and ERM multiclock?

I’ve got the MIO and the Pyramid hooked up already. Working fine. (DAW is not involved at this point)

What’s the best way to distribute the clock from the multiclock to my hardware that is connected to and sequenced by Pyramid?

My DAW is going to send the audio pulse to the ERM to generate the clock in the ERM. The clock will then come into the MIO for routing. Do I want to send that clock just to the Pyramid and then slave all my devices to Pyramid?

Or should I turn the sync send off on the Pyramid and just split the clock from the multiclock out direct to all my devices that need it? Effectively slaving everything to the ERM rather than Pyramid.

Or should the clock go everywhere it needs to go with Pyramid sending clock/sync too? Would this result in clock doubling?

Or will it not make any material difference however I do it so long as everything gets the same clock from the same source?

I’m guessing the timing may be fractionally tighter if the MIO distributes the clock rather than it passing through the Pyramid and the Pyramid resending it along with all the other MIDI info it has to crunch and distribute. Although this might not be at all noticeable in the real world.

Once I’ve got it all going I want to jam with my tracks and sequences and send a duplicate of the Pyramid’s MIDI outs out to my DAW MIDI ins to track my arrangement in MIDI as a left to right timeline. Thereafter I can finalise/ fine edit my arrangement in the DAW without needing Pyramid to drive my hardware. I can route this MIDI out via the MIO to the other gear and completely bypass the Pyramid.

I find the Pyramid is incredible for jamming and generating ideas but I’m struggling to write detailed, finished work on it. Especially while the sequence chaining functionality is still broken and I have lost patience waiting for the fix in OS 3.

Appreciate your advice, folks.

Thanks,
jim


#2

i have a comparable setup with 2 multiclocks, copperlan with 3 al88s and a couple of machines that get synced

as almost every synth has a differing latency I’m using all the multiclock outs and distribute to the machines via copperlan
on the multiclock I can set different time offsets to make the machines run tighter together

also I’m using one multiclock as the clock master an make my DAW Ableton Live run as a slave … that way I can run all machines without the need for a daw - so I can work without computer


#3

Hey @verstaerker Thanks for the advice.

Other than the usual DAW/MIDI latency/jitter woes (hence the acquisition of the multiclock) I’ve not had any latency issues with machines that are sequenced or clocked (synched) by the Pyramid. So using the separate clock offsets on the mulitclock to account for that hadn’t occurred to me. But I see how that could be applied. The old Super Bass Station can be a bit sloppy with its timing, as it goes.

So assuming that I am happy with the Pyramid clocking my machines. (And ignoring the Super Bass Station for the moment) Should I just send the multiclock clock to the Pyramid and slave my machines sequenced by the Pyramid to that?

Or would I be better to distribute the multiclock clock direct to the machines via the MIO and tell Pyramid not to send clocking?

Or should I send the mulitclock clock wherever it needs to go knowing that everything is receiving the same clock and therefore there won’t be any clock doubling?

Where does the Pyramid sit in your set up? Is it one of the machines receiving the multiclock clock and does it forward that on to connected machines?

Interesting to note that you use another multiclock to clock the DAW as ERM seem insistent that the DAW should be the defacto master clock - but outputting an audio clock to generate a MIDI clock from the multiclock - rather than pumping out MIDI.

Is that 2nd multiclock in play so you have a master clock source when you are not using your DAW? Meaning, when the DAW is in play the 2nd multiclock isn’t and the DAW drives the multiclock?

A lot of questions there, sorry.

Really appreciate your advice.
jim


#4

I would send the clock from the multiclock to your Mio and distribute it from here to all machines
but I don’t have any proof if that’s better or not… it’s just my way

so yes the multiclock is with one exception just another Slave to the Midiclock
(I’m sending clock from he pyramid to the monomachine as the arp doesn’t stop without a second stop signal (wich the pyramid delivers)

I’m slaving the DAW just from another channel of my first multiclock. I only got the second multiclock as I have too many devices with different latencys ( the differences between the machines are up 10 ms - wich results in bad timing )


#5

That’s really helpful. Thanks. jim


#6

Hey @JimBrackpool did your solution above work? ERM to the MiO10 then pyramid to connected hardware?

I have the ERM / Pyramid setup using Logic as my DAW. I’m finding midi into logic will be recorded “all” channels if I’m selected on a midi or instrument track. I’m hoping adding the MIO10 will allow me to record and playback midi notes from pyramid on separate midi tracks in logic without always being jumbled up.


#7

Hey, well it was @verstaerker 's solution but yes, it works for me.

Although slightly different to what you describe in that the devices are all connected to the MIO rather than the Pyramid.

Bitwig sends audio pulse to the E-RM. ERM generates start/stop and clock from this and it gets sent to the MIO 10 where (via iconfig setup) it gets distributed to Pyramid and all my other hardware bits via the MIO 10. Pyramid is slaved to incoming stop/start and clock but doesn’t send any of that out to the devices. Pyramid out is connected direct to MIO which splits MIDI out to the devices as required. It’s solid.

But, I never got round to recording duplicate MIDI output from the pyramid into Bitwig (which was my original intention). Plan was to jam on the pyramid, record the jam in MIDI and then let bitwig take over all the MIDI sequencing as I finalise the arrangement. I just stemmed out all my tracks in audio in the end and arranged it like that.

I did try it once but the incoming MIDI wasn’t quite as tight as I wanted as it was recorded and I gave up. Partly due to being time poor and partly due to being plain lazy.

Using the iconfig router you can set up individual routes so bitwig (and presumably login too) can capture separate midi channels on separate DAW tracks.

Don’t know what was introducing the latency in the midi recording but I’m sure someone more experienced (and less lazy than me) would know.

jim


#8

Thanks @JimBrackpool! How are you connecting Pyramid into MIO? Are you using usb only, Midi only, or both? I’m assuming all you’d need is a usb connection since Pyramid is midi class compliant, but wanted to double check.


#9

Hi,
I have both DIN outputs and the USB output and the MIDI in connected to the MIO. Then I use the iconfig router to distribute that to various devices and Bitwig.

I have my Track banks on the Pyramid set up so that Bank A corresponds to Midi Out A, Bank B to out B and C is USB (for controlling Rytm mutes with CCs in short looping patterns). D uses spare channels on the USB out not dedicated to Rytm to control Bitwig and VSTs connected on one of the other Mio USB ports.

The MIO powers the Pyramid. I had some issues with ground hum until I switched my cheapo USB cable for a high end shielded one. Other than that, no issues. Just plugged it in, enabled the port on the Mio and it worked first time.

Just don’t forget to save stuff on the Pyramid before you power down the MIO. Did that a few times… learned the hard way.

The MIO is also connected by USB to the PC where it can receive incoming MIDI from multiple ports. I set it up so that these mirror the Pyramid A,B,C/USB so if I decide I want to sequence any of the hardware from Bitwig rather than the Pyra, or merge Bitwig notes/CC automation with Pyra notes…its easy…all the ports and channels correspond and everything gets merged with the clock through the MIO.

If I need something super tight from the PC (like PGM changes) I sometimes use the USB MIdi on the multiclock and route that to a device again through the Mio. It’s rock solid.

I have ins coming into the MIO from a controller keyboard, Circuit and the Digitone too. Both have fun sequencers that are good for specific sequencing jobs. It’s so nice having everything wired up all the time and tonnes of flexibility with alternate routings. Also I don’t have any daisy chains, or merge/split boxes anywhere and you can use iconfig software to filter MIDI traffic on all the ports so everything is super tight.

The iconfig software works fine but took me a while to get my head around. I had problems early on with port names not refreshing but it seems that some recent firmware updates have fixed that. Frustrating though it is at times, it’s way preferable to scrabbling around behind the desk for midi leads or chaining and rewiring stuff together depending on where you can get a thru.

Good luck and happy routing. Shout if you need a hand getting going.

jim


#10

Wow thanks @JimBrackpool! This is a big help.

How should I run Synths that are using usb midi like Roland System-1 and the Roland Boutique series? Would I run them Midi USB to my computer as well as going out of the MIO to each synths midi in? Or would I only need to connect those synths to my computer via usb midi and config the MIO to send midi from Pyramid to the Boutique synths?


#11

OK, I’ll try and help you out here but I’m not super whizzy, so no promises.

To answer your question, you can do both or either. Depending on what you need.

Frist off, it will depend on whether you want/need the computer on to write/jam. The MIO will run standalone. Meaning you can set up the routings over USB when it’s connected to the PC and then switch off the PC to jam/write. Some hardware people like that. I like that too. If that’s your thing then get yourself a USB hub (like the elektron overhub for instance) and connect that to the MIO and wire all your USB midi devices into that (10 max I think). The MIO will see them connected if they are class compliant and will name them accordingly. Then you just set up a routing on the iconfig so that output from the Pyramid (over DIN or USB) gets sent to the appropriate port. Then you need to send start/stop from the ERM to get everything playing. It has a play button of course. You knew that.

Although I’m guessing you will have the computer in play most of the time since you are using the ERM which gets its ‘clock’ from the computer audio. A really fkin tight sample tight audio clock, not some shoddy de-prioritised USB midi ting…

So, if you have the computer in play all the time (with the DAW controlling start/stop via ERM when it starts receiving the audio pulse) and/or you use editor programmes in the computer to visualise the controls on the hardware devices then these will need to be connected directly to the PC separately (or additionally to the MIO if the hardware abides) via another hub that the computer can see.

The MIO won’t be able to ‘see’ these direct PC connections (it won’t know specifically what device it is) but it will still be able to send midi to them from any source it receives if you set up the ports and routings. (You get a tonne of ports so unless you have like a million USB devices you can pretty much specify a port per device…even though you’re most likely only going to use one midi channel on that port. Name them in iconfig and they magically appear in your DAW. I find that keeps the setup clean and you can always filter the unused channels on that port to optimise traffic)

For example. I have a Novation launch control thing in the mix. It’s jacked directly into the PC and it doesn’t need clocking. The MIO doesn’t know it’s there specifically, but I can still use it to control anything connected to the MIO if I route its output out the DAW through a USB port into the MIO and onto any of my MIO connected devices.

Also, some devices I have that have DIN and USB midi (lucky me) have DIN and clock coming in from the MIO/Pyra but I also have them wired to the computer over USB so I can just programme or edit them direct from the DAW without messing around with routings. If I want. The Novation Circuit has a smashing PC editor by Sigabort which I use over USB for tweaking sounds, but DIN comes into the Circuit from the MIO/Pyramid. I wouldn’t be able to use Sigabort’s editor if the Circuit wasn’t jacked into the PC even though I could still sequence it from the Pyra. Same with Elektron’s overbridge stuff. The Boutiques have something similar right? If you like that kind of thing it has to go direct into PC AND have a routing from Pyramid/MIO if you want to control/visualise/tweak from PC but sequence from the Pyramid.

So, you know…horses for courses.

Make sure you don’t send MIDI clock over USB from the DAW if you are also sending it over DIN from the ERM/MIO. Unless you like gabba/speedcore.

Just read this draft through and I’m not sure how helpful it is… Sorry.

Basically, if it’s in your MIDI network somewhere (either on the computer or just on the MIO or both) you can programme it from anywhere if you are prepared to wrap your head around iconfig.

jim


#12

Slow but surely i’m getting there. It sounds like i’m going after a similar set up.

I have everything hooked up -> both midi A and midi B on the pyramid as well as the midi in on the pyramid going to MIO. All four channels from the ERM are going to MIO. Then i’m outputting MIO to the Midi Ins on all my devices.

I’m getting bottlenecked in iconfig. How are you setting up the remap channels to send the ERM clock?

Using Pyramid i’m only able to trigger synths using the USB mid bank even though i’m going out of MIO into the midi in of all my gear.

How did you set this up in iconfig?

“I have my Track banks on the Pyramid set up so that Bank A corresponds to Midi Out A, Bank B to out B and C is USB (for controlling Rytm mutes with CCs in short looping patterns). D uses spare channels on the USB out not dedicated to Rytm to control Bitwig and VSTs connected on one of the other Mio USB ports.”


#13

Lordy, I remember going through all of this. I’m not near my gear right now but let’s see what I can do from memory.

You definitely want to go slow and steady and just get one thing working at a time and keep it really simple to begin with.

Like, forget about the clock for now. Send clock from the Pyramid until you can play or sequence every device individually from the Pyramid. Then bring the clock into play. Connect each device one by one, test it and don’t worry about filtering midi traffic for now.

Would recommend you label your DIN ports “In/Out” style. E.g. “Clock/Synth1” "PyraA/Synth2 or “/Synth3” if you have nothing connected to the In. Make sure you have the input/output ports checked (active!) on the Midi Info tab. 9 times out of 10 when a routing wasn’t working for me it was because I hadn’t enabled the port. Still catches me out to this day when I’m wiring up. Obviously you don’t need to enable a port if there’s nothing physically connected to it.

Then go to the Midi Port Routing Page. You should see “PyraA/Synth2” in there (down the bottom if it’s a DIN connection) Click that to select the input (Pyra A in this example) and then in the Port Routes window, click all the outputs/devices you want to send that to.

(You might think you are routing an in and an out to an out…but you’re not. You’re routing the in on one port to the out on another). It feels wrong, but it’s fine. It’s just how the ports are labelled.
(The in/outs are totally unrelated except that they share a port number)

Channel remap is for remapping (think of it as converting channel numbers) Like turning anything rxed on ch 3 to tx on ch4. I’m going to assume for the moment you don’t need to do any of this. So don’t. It bears no relation to the physical routing of ins and outs.

Then once you’ve got all your routing set up. Bring in the clock. Choose “Clock/whatever” from the Input port list and route it to all the outs it’s meant for. Most likely all of the hardware on the DIN ports and anything on your USB hub or a PC connected USB port. Again, start with just the one clock, get that going, then bring in the other if you need to. Make sure the Pyramid and the DAW are set to NOT send clock else you will double the clock and make 2000bpm glitchcore. But you may need it to send start/stop if your connected DIN devices have sequencers that you will want to use.

What do you need all 4 clocks for? Try just setting up one for now. Unless you need to offset clocks to account for specific latencies on specific devices or if you are monitoring through two different audio interfaces with different monitoring latencies, you probably only need the one.

I think I confused the issue when I mentioned Track Banks. These are irrelevant as far as midi routing goes. Banks are just pages of tracks in Pyramid, you can have any kind of MIDI out on any tracks in any Bank. Forget about banks for now. I just have mine set up like that in Pyramid due to channel numbers and requirements in my devices and it makes sense to me.

Let us know how you get on. PM me if you want to Skype over the weekend. Will probably be way quicker for us both.

jim


#14

Awesome thanks @JimBrackpool!

So far so good. I’ve got all my synths coming into Pyramid and they’re working how they should.

How are you using your Elektron gear? You mentioned using Pyramid Bank C for controlling RYTM mutes with CCs in short looping patterns. How did you set that up?

I’m cool jumping on Skype this weekend if it’s easier.

Thanks for all your help!
Adam


#15

For Rytm mutes I use tracks 1-12 in Bank C. All out of USB…not that that’s all that relevant.

I make a really short track, like 1 beat. Then I make two patterns in that. One has CC94 of 0 to unmute, the other has CC94 of 1 (if I remember rightly) to mute. I copy/paste that track into the other 11 tracks and then set midi channels on each one accordingly corresponding to Rytm voices.

All the Pyramid tracks need to be Unmuted all the time so the Rytm is always getting either the mute or unmute commands. Then I just have to select a track, hold step and track to show pattern select and from there I can toggle the Rytm voice on/off with pads 1 and 2. When I have a mute state I like across all the Rytm tracks I save it to a sequence and use the sequences to jam an arrangement with the rest of the gear.

It’s not ideal but it works for me. Once you get the muscle memory going (track + pad, track +step + pad1 or pad 2) it’s tolerable.

Same thing works for the Digitone when I’m using the Digitone sequencer rather than the Pyramid.

jim


#16

Thanks Jim!

I’m noticing when recording midi into logic from Pyramid that I’m getting duplicate midi notes. Well not exactly duplicates, one set of midi notes is slightly shorter by 1 or 2 samples. I’m almost positive this is being caused from having both the USB and Midi In connected to my synths.

Have you seen this issue in your setup?


#17

It’s been a while since I tried it so not sure how much help I can be. Also, I don’t know Logic so can’t comment on how it records MIDI.

But…

When I tried it with Bitiwig I had a unique port set up purely for routing Pyramid midi out. Meaning any MIDI from any other source would not be captured in recording.

I think you might be on the right track. My assumption here would be that you are recording MIDI from any source on a specified channel into Logic and notes from the USB out on your devices is getting picked up too. Try giving Logic a specific MIDI port to look to and duplicating your Pyramid output to that (as well as the devices) and use that as your sole recording source.

Also on the MIO (via iconfig) you could try disabling the MIDI input from the USB devices so received MIDI doesn’t get bounced out again. You may even be able to do that on the device itself.

Or if you want to leave it enabled so you can record knob tweaks from the USB devices into the DAW you could just filter the outgoing notes (or everything except CCs) from those devices.

How are you finding the sync when you record? Are you MIDI notes right on grid?


#18

After some testing I found Pyramid was the only piece of gear causing the duplicate notes. More specifically logic is creating midi on-notes when I press a Pyramid pad, then a second set of Midi-off notes when the pad is released. Do you know why that’s happening? I turned off “midi echo” on the pyramid thinking that would work, but no cigar. Both of my midi keyboards are recording midi as they should, no duplicates or second sets of midi data.

I also tried recording a straight four on the floor midi pattern using the pyramid and the recorded midi was all over the place. All my gear sounds together but i’m not recording midi on the grid. This is first time i’ve run into recording issues since having the multi clock. Did you any similar issues with your set up?

On the multi clock I have each channel set with a shift range of +20ms then I have the shift set at 10ms so i can go up or down depending on what i’m trying to clock. The midi notes i’m recording however are close to the grid but falling all over, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a matter of slightly shifting one way or the other.

I’m using the ERM plugin in logic sending a channel out of my mixer into the ERM, and it sounds like everything is starting on time.


#19

OK, I’m not really an expert. Not compared to some of the bods on these boards. So maybe someone else can chip in here?

Also, it’s really hard to comment without knowing/seeing your setup in its entirety, including your routings in the MIO.

But I do have a few observations that might guide you in some self diagnosis.

The ERM is just a clock. It can’t move midi notes forward or backwards, or quantize them. It just tells other devices when to start/stop and very, very specifically and consistently how fast to play.

My guess is you will probably find all the MIDI flowing through your network is rock solid right up until it hits the DAW when you are recording it back in. I’m happy to be corrected but it seems likely to me that the same reason the DAW/computer can’t record MIDI consistently on grid via a USB connection is the same reason clocking devices over USB from the computer is less than ideal for many people. Especially when audio playback/recording is in play simultaneously.

USB MIDI doesn’t have to be consistently sample accurate in the way that audio recording/playback does so USB MIDI resources are de-prioritised. The computer thinks it can think about other things in between thinking about MIDI ticks and because it’s got a load of other things to think about, it prefers that over USB traffic. (I mean, this is why we feed the ERM audio in the first place right? It’s way more stable than MIDI over USB, and probably DIN too).

And no matter how tight the outgoing clock is, you can’t mitigate for any of that on the way back in.

Then again, if you’ve never had issues in the past, I’m not sure what the problem is. It might be the MIO that’s draining USB resource? I don’t know. Sorry.

I very much doubt it is the multiclock (or the pyramid playing sloppy. Most likely the incoming MIDI getting jittery as it is recorded.

I use the clock to keep incoming audio as grid tight as possible. So I’m not reliant on USB clock stability when I’m recording multiple (long) audio tracks into the DAW. And, separately, I use the clock offsets to account for audio monitoring latency when I have bang on grid audio playing alongside audio inputs from midi devices heading into the DAW. If the computer takes say 30ms to process audio input and ping it back out the interface, the A/D converter and into my monitors, I shift the clock on that device forward to account for it (or shift it back on everything else depending on what I’m doing at the time). That way, everything sounds in time as it comes out the speakers.

What’s the reason you use separate clocks out of the ERM? Are you feeding multiple clocks into the MIO? Really, if you can distribute a single clock to all your devices seamlessly through the MIO, you should only need the one clock output. Unless you are introducing audio latency somewhere else in your rig.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful. I hope I’m not spreading silly information around either. Think I mentioned this last week but I tried this some time ago (programme on Pyramid, play MIDi into the DAW, record it and then refine with the DAW as the sequencer) but gave up for these same reasons.

(These days if I desperately want some Pyra midi in the DAW I just load the midi files in off the SD card. It’s a bit of a drag but nowhere near as infuriating as what we’re talking about here)

Oh…one day I’m gonna try MIDI in over ethernet and see if that’s any better.

Don’t know about your multiple notes from the Pyramid. My guess would be that Logic is picking up the Pyramid output and the midi output from the device you are playing. You want to filter that in the MIO I reckon by disabling the input from the device.

jim


#20

Without knowing the exact setup this is just a shot in the dark, but:
you might want to check your settings for MIDI A/B MODE. OUT + THRU can cause an echo-like effect in some configurations (see Midi FX not working when playing realtime with external keyboard for the original piece of mystery)